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A Keanu Reeves Movie Inspired This Lakeside Retreat in Maryland


A Keanu Reeves Movie Inspired This Lakeside Retreat in Maryland
Photographs courtesy of McInturff Architects.

Kathy and Joe Nusbaum fell in love with the land first.

Their original weekend house had been near the ski slopes of Wisp Mountain, with a view of Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake. But the beautiful panorama was almost a tease: They didn’t just want to look at the water; they wanted to enjoy it. So in 2009, when they came upon a parcel tucked into a quiet area of the lake called Carmel Cove, they snapped it up. “It was perfect for us,” Kathy says.

Now all they needed was a house. “This is kind of corny—I had seen the movie The Lake House with Sandra Bullock years before,” says Kathy. “I always said, ‘That’s my dream home.’ To have something on a lake with all that glass—it just spoke to me.”

While shopping one day in 2011, she found a book with photographs of houses by renowned modern architect Mark McInturff. Though Kathy worried that Deep Creek Lake was too far from McInturff’s Bethesda base, she e-mailed him and he replied immediately that he’d be happy to help.

McInturff and another architect at his firm, Peter Noonan, collaborated with the Nusbaums for nearly three years. The result is contemporary and glassy, just as Kathy wanted, but still warm and organic, thanks to ample wood and stonework.

Between the Nusbaums and their two grown daughters’ families, someone uses the house most weekends, and Kathy says she and Joe may one day move in full-time. She’s already retired from her job as an assistant director at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, though Joe still runs his own pharmacy. Says Kathy of the lake house: “It’s just gorgeous no matter what season you’re experiencing it.”

While the lake is what drew Kathy and Joe Nusbaum to this piece of property, they also loved how wooded it was. “I really liked the idea of a house in the woods, and it being very natural-looking,” says Kathy. The preserved, wooded walls of the windows allow the Nusbaums to take full advantage of both water and forest views.

Why Deep Creek Lake?

It’s perfect if you’re outdoorsy: Fish, boat, and swim in the summer. Drive 20 minutes to Wisp Resort for snowboarding and skiing in the winter.

It’s not too far: From the Nusbaums’ primary residence near Frederick, it’s less than 2½ hours. From DC, it’s about three.

This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 and was a senior editor until 2022.